By Richard P Bentall
Journal of medical ethics, 1992, 18, 94-98
It is proposed that happiness be classified as a psychiatric disorder and be included in future editions of the major diagnostic manuals under the new name: major affective disorder, pleasant type. In a review of the relevant literature it is shown that happiness is statistically abnormal, consists of a discrete cluster of symptoms, is associated with a range of cognitive abnormalities, and probably reflects the abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. One possible objection to this proposal remains - that happiness is not negatively valued. However, this objection is dismissed as scientifically irrelevant.
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